When most people think about home design they consider style and functionality, but rarely think about where they will be in ten or twenty years. Yet, most people plan to stay in their homes for the majority of their lives. Talking about aging in your home can feel premature, especially if you’re still raising a family, but the sooner you start planning for it the more time and money you’ll be able to invest in making that long-term transition. In fact, there are many reasons to bring practical elements, like a seat in your shower or a walk-in tub, to your home. They can turn your bathroom in to the spa retreat of your dreams, not to mention how useful they are for aging parents or a child with a broken bone! When thinking about home design, it’s important to consider the future alongside the present and think about how some simple renovations now can have a long-term, positive impact.
If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen, there are several changes you can make to blend your current needs with functionality for the future:
– Keep an open space beneath your kitchen and countertops large enough to fit a bench or wheel chair. You can even install doors to cover the open area if you want to maintain a specific style, but having somewhere to sit while you’re doing dishes or chopping vegetables adds comfort and makes your kitchen useable well in to the future.
– Build countertops at different heights to accommodate comfort at every level. Create spaces that are accessible whether you’re standing or sitting to make your kitchen user-friendly for any age group.
– Bending down becomes more dangerous as you age so build cabinetry at shoulder-height to minimize your risk of falling or injuring your back.
Make maneuvering in your bathroom easier and turn it in to a spa-like experience you can enjoy at any age with some important renovations:
– A curb-less shower with a bench and bars is both luxurious and safety-conscious.
– Add recessed shelves to a shower at shoulder level to minimize your need to bend over to retrieve soap or shampoo and decrease your risk of falling in the shower.
– Increase the doorway to your bathroom to at least 36 inches wide to fit wheelchairs and walkers in the future.
– Install an adjustable showerhead with a hand-held option to make your shower look lavish while increasing its functionality.
Use color to your advantage, too. Consider contrasting edge countertops for both your kitchen and bathroom. They are a beautiful design feature that adds a pop of color and can help reduce spills in the future as your vision starts to decrease and you may not be able to see the edge of your countertops as well.
Don’t think about renovating your home to age in place as a negative thing; consider all of the people it will benefit and how much functionality it will add to your space! Call the Hearthwood team today to start designing a home renovation that will bring luxury to your life now and functionality in the future.